If a Newtown teacher had been armed and prevented many deaths...

would they have been charged with a crime? Should they have been?

For purposes of this debate, assume that the teacher were legally licensed to carry a firearm but could not legally do so at the school. Also assume that the teacher fired at the shooter and cleanly killed them after having witnessed the shooter kill several students.

What, if anything, would the teacher be charged with? They could obviously be charged with having a gun in a gun free zone but would they be?

My guess is no. I’m not sure about Connecticut, but in most jurisdictions that I know of, prosecutors are public ally elected officials and most would view it as a political death sentence.

Please do not turn this into a debate about the wisdom or lack thereof about arming teachers.

Forgive any typos, I’m in the back of a bumpy van.

If a Newtown teacher was armed and presumably shot the shooter, we would have had no idea how many deaths were prevented. Life isn’t a choose your own adventure book where we can turn to another page and see how things had gone if different decisions were made.

I think the penalties for violating these laws include a fine of up to $5,000 or up to 5 years in jail. I expect someone who broke these laws and stopped a murderer would be fined at most, and the fine would be more than covered by donations from supporters.

But he wouldn’t be stopping a murderer in this scenario, he’d be stopping a potential murderer. Basically what is being asked here is what the penalty might be for a teacher, carrying illegally, killing another person that seems to pose a threat to others at that school.

The OP assumes that the shooter had already killed several students.

I’d assume that political pressure would preclude charging the teacher.

Sorry-misread OP.
I guess they would have to pick between the shitstorm of charging a hero vs. the shitstorm of advocating the illegal carrying of guns.

If a person were to shoot his way through the door and come barreling into an elementary school armed to the teeth, I should think a person would have reasonable apprehension that the armed intruder was a lethal threat to many lives. There is no law against killing someone who is threatening your life, even if the weapon at hand is illegal.

Simple. Demand a jury trial. No jury will convict. Jurors would be throwing spitballs at the prosecutor during his opening arguments.

Regardless of any written law I find it hard to believe any jury would have convicted them.

The DA would have to choose to prosecute first. If he faced no pressure to do so, why would he?

An interesting scenario would be if the teacher had missed with his/her first shot and killed one of the students instead, but hit the gunman with the second shot when the gunman had plenty of ammunition left and was obviously going to shoot more than 1 other kid.

This falls under the “greater danger” theory in that it is more dangerous not to act, than to take actions that may not have an ideal outcome:

Scenario #1: Accidentally shooting a kid on the first shot and killing the bad guy on the second = 1 dead innocent & 1 dead bad guy.

Scenario #2: Not firing at all = 20 dead kids, 1 dead teacher, and 1 bad guy still alive and able to hurt more people.

Is a governor’s pardon power generally absolute? If a prosecutor were to charge the teacher, could/would the governor pardon her against future prosecution like Ford did with Nixon?

I believe “self-defense” would come in, wouldn’t it?

Certainly defense of others as well as self-defense.

But the teacher had been doing his “lesser danger” for some time before the shooter came into the picture, and would probably continue to do it if the shooter had never entered the picture, and that has to be addressed. Otherwise you are telling people that if may be against the law to carry in certain circumstances and/or in certain places, but finding a reason to use your weapon before you get caught will give you a free pass.

I believe that self-defense would certainly get a murder charge off of the table but I’m curious about lesser charges.

An elected DA can’t be seen prosecuting a hero, but can’t be seen as soft on crime or as letting someone off the hook either. With gun control as controversial as it is, I imagine there would be some pressure to prosecute the teacher, even though it would be a minority. It’s really a no-win situation for the DA, but I suspect the best course would be to investigate the teacher and possibly even bring charges, but drop the investigation/charges at the first whiff of public disapproval. That way you can say to one side that you tried to prosecute but were prevented by overwhelming public opinion and tell the other side that you never wanted to prosecute but were forced by the duties of your office to at least try.

Don’t forget that if any of the other students saw the teacher pointing the weapon in his/her direction, then *that student *could shoot (assuming they were also illegally carrying a firearm) the teacher and claim a *stand your ground *defense.

There is no such law in Connecticut, and this doesn’t have much to do with the OP’s question. Also, most of the kids who were shot were 6 years old.